Meaning of “sacrificial lamb” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"sacrificial lamb" in British English

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sacrificial lambnoun [ C usually singular ]

uk /ˌsæk.rɪ ˈfɪʃ.əl ˈlæm/ us /ˌsæk.rɪ ˈfɪʃ.əl ˈlæm/

someone or something that is given to people in authority and is expected to be harmed or destroyed, especially in order to prevent other people or things from being harmed or destroyed:

We knew the department would be a sacrificial lamb when the time came to cut costs.

(Definition of “sacrificial lamb” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)